After 18 months of only virtual events, MilSpouseFest hosted its first in-person events in Hampton Roads, VA on September 16 to kick off the event calendar. Military spouses from all walks of life attended the AM or PM session to learn about valuable resources and to connect with other spouses in one room.
MilSpouseFest, presented by USAA, had a full agenda of speakers and giveaways. Keynote speaker, Executive Director of Partners in Promise Michelle Norman, talked about how to “Turn the Unexpected into Opportunities” by finding yourself, protecting yourself, and sharing yourself. “See every challenge, every unexpected obstacle as an opportunity,” she said.
KeArra R. said this about MilSpouseFest: “The morning of this event, I started to get cold feet, but I decided to attend anyway. I am glad I did! Not only did I meet some amazing ladies (now Facebook friends), I also learned about many resources in my community! The most moving speaker was Michelle Norman, she made me feel I wasn’t alone.”
Other speaking segments included Mj Boice and Jenah Wieczorek from PCSgrades, Lisa Howard from The Barry Robinson Center, Maureen Haney from Tutor.com, JJ Montanaro from USAA, and Colleen Southerland from United Through Reading. A new segment for MilSpouseFest events, Building Connections, was focused on networking spouses need to help them transition to a new location, or to find employment. Wendy Poling of USAA and Michelle Norman were interviewed by our Director, Julie Shepard, with questions submitted by the audience.
When asked what takeaways they took from MilSpouseFest, one attendee said “That I am not alone, it is hard to be a military spouse. You sometimes have to sacrifice many things and dreams you once had growing up. I learned that I should start to really look into what makes me happy because I love helping people. Just need to find where I can help others.”
MilSpouseFest would like to thank USAA and its many sponsors for their generous help to make these in-person events a success. MilSpouseFest extends a special thank you to FTD for their generous donation of flowers.